WNBA Weekly Mailbag – 2/8/10
A new feature on The W, we answer your questions/emails.
by Ben York
I receive a lot of email every day regarding the WNBA and women’s basketball.
The topics of the emails are almost never the same. Some people have a specific question about a team or player, others ask for thoughts on the WNBA in general, and (sadly) at least once daily, I get a message that consists of two words — “you suck.” Hey, at least they took the time to let me know!
The vast majority of emails, however, are genuine and bring up many great points to think about. How can we (fans) convert more followers to the WNBA? What are your thoughts on the 2010 WNBA season? Who are you interviewing next? What are the players up to overseas? Why do you write about the WNBA?
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do enjoy the discussion. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Thus, the creation of a brand new feature on The W called the WNBA Weekly Mailbag. On a weekly basis (hence, the title), I’ll answer your questions on any topic regarding the WNBA or women’s basketball. I won’t shy away from any controversial questions, so be diverse and ask away.
If you’d like to be a part of the WNBA Weekly Mailbag on SLAMonline, send an email to me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Who is your surprise team for the 2010 season? – Andy, Denver, CO
A: Great question, Andy. A lot of people are obviously picking the Minnesota Lynx, and rightfully so. But I’m not sure their success will be much of a surprise per se with the phenomenal additions they made to their roster. I’ll go with another team – the Connecticut Sun. Much of the focus on the Sun-Lynx trade was Lindsay Whalen heading back to Minnesota, but the Sun got a fantastic guard in Renee Montgomery and the No. 1 pick who will inevitably be Tina Charles. I liken this to the 2007 trade in the NBA between the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves when the Celtics got Kevin Garnett and the Timberwolves got Al Jefferson. The focus by nearly everyone was on Garnett, but it wasn’t like Jefferson was simply a throw in – he’s a 20/10 guy every night! Additionally, they signed free agent point guard Kara Lawson who gives the Sun versatility and an increase in their defensive attack. The Sun will be a compelling team in 2010, and for years to come.
Q: I recently read your article On WNBA Progress. Don’t you think you are being somewhat counterproductive and hypocritical? If you want to recruit new fans, why slam people who might turn out to be fans someday? – Jillian, Richmond, VA
A: Thank you for your message, Jillian. It certainly isn’t my intent to cause a rift between WNBA fans or potential new followers. Rather, the purpose is to challenge some of the societal norms and views that have become commonplace in regards to the WNBA. I grow tired of the typical responses that the league is stale, that it’s inferior, that it’s boring, etc. Unfortunately, many people form opinions of the league without ever watching a game. Or, they say they give the league a chance but begin watching it with preconceived notions instead of an open mind. I’ve never understood why men feel threatened by the league or compelled to make fun of it. For example, take a look at this so-called “article” and you’ll understand why people like this get me riled up. Long story short, it’s my opinion that those stereotypical beliefs need to be challenged and the more misogynistic views need to be put away for good.
Q: Who has been your favorite interview so far? – Barb, Detroit, MI
A: Barb, that is almost an impossible question to answer! If I’m honest, every player I’ve interviewed has been easy to speak with, genuine, and down-to-earth. The entire Mercury team has been nothing but fantastic to work with (Temeka, Diana, Cappie, Tangela, Penny, Kelly, Ketia, DeWanna, Annie Meyers Drysdale, etc.). Becky Hammon and Alana Beard were both incredibly insightful and equally as pleasant. Of course, I can’t forget about Tamika Catchings or Seimone Augustus.
Who am I kidding — they’ve all been great!
Though, if I had to choose just one, it would be WNBA President Donna Orender. This may seem like a cop-out to some, but I can assure you it is the absolute truth. To be able to experience firsthand her passion for advancing the WNBA and women’s sports in general will be something I’ll always treasure.
If you want your email to be featured in the WNBA Weekly Mailbag, send an email to Ben at email@example.com.